The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the appointment of Auckland barrister Faumui Penelope (Lope) Ginnen as a District Court Judge will be welcomed and celebrated by the Pacific Peoples of Aotearoa and the Pacific region. She will be based in Manukau and will also have jurisdiction as a Family Court Judge.
“She will bring to the Bench a strong child advocacy experiences which will be timely during the year where child wellbeing is a special focus for our nation,” says Aupito William Sio
Ms Ginnen is a barrister specialising in family law, in particular child advocacy, resolving care arrangements for children, addressing care and protection issues for children and adoption. She is regularly appointed by the Family Court as lawyer for child and counsel to assist the Court.
“Many of us in the Pacific community know that she balances her family law practice with corporate governance and leadership roles primarily with organisations that have the wellbeing of people at the heart.
Her governance and leadership roles include being Trustee for Brainwave Trust Aotearoa, Trustee for Emerge Aotearoa, Chairperson of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Maia Limited, Director for Vaka Tautua, Member of the Community Advisory Group to the Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Courts, and Member of the Independent Advisory Group of Precision Driven Health.
“Ms Ginnen has a bicultural background with Samoan and Pakeha parents. Her Samoan heritage includes family connections to the village districts of Safune and Tufutafoe in Savaii and Leauva’a and Lefaga in Upolu where she holds the high chief matai name of Faumui from the village of Leauva’a. The people of Leauva’a in Upolu are known as the survivors of the Mount Matavanu volcanic eruption in 1905 who located to Upolu when the lava flows continued through to 1911 and covered five villages in the Gaga’emauga district of Savaii.
“I applaud not only her extensive family law and corporate governance leadership experiences, but she will also be able to bring to the Bench a very strong Pacific and Māori worldview which will be well received by the Manukau Court.
“Judge Ginnen will be joining trailblazer and role model Judge Ida Malosi at the Manukau District Court, who was New Zealand’s first female Pacific Judge.
“I congratulate le afioga ia Faumui Judge Ginnen for her appointment and join with the wider Pacific community, legal profession and Pacific MPs in acknowledging this significant achievement,” says Aupito William Sio.